Introduction into North Carolina Government

General Statutes of Interest to Public Libraries/ Overview and History of State Aid

North Carolina's Aid to Public Libraries program has been in effect since 1941, when the General Assembly articulated its polices regarding the role of the state in public library development and appropriated the first $100,000 for the program.

Chapter 153A of the General Statutes of North Carolina contains the "Declaration of State Policy":

The General Assembly recognizes that the availability of adequate, modern library services is in the general interest of the people of North Carolina and a proper concern of the State and of local governments. Therefore, it is the policy of the State of North Carolina to promote the establishment and development of public library services throughout the state.

Chapter 125 of the General Statutes re-iterates that policy and establishes the State Aid program:

For promoting, aiding, and equalizing public library service in North Carolina a sum shall annually be appropriated out of moneys within the State treasury to be known as the Aid to Public Libraries fund.

From the time of the first appropriation, the program has continued and evolved. Today 80 county, regional and municipal library systems serving 100 counties receive State Aid - 58 single-county libraries, 12 regional libraries serving 42 counties, and 10 municipal libraries meet the minimum standards to qualify.

The current formula went into effect in FY1983-84 and includes two components:

  • Block Grants: 50% of the appropriation is divided among the qualifying libraries. Each county library receives one grant and regional libraries receive one block grant for each county plus an additional one for the region. Municipal libraries do not receive a block grant.

  • Per Capita Equalization Grants: 50% of the appropriation is allocated as per capita income equalization grants. Each eligible regional, county and municipal library system receives a per capita grant that is inversely proportional to the local per capita income.

In FY2012-13, $13,491,033 in State Aid will be distributed to public libraries.

Furthermore, the North Carolina Administrative Code, Title 7- Department of Cultural Resources, Chapter 02- Division of State Library details rules that regulate requirements for State Aid and additional eligibility benefits.

Overview of the State Budget Process

North Carolina State Budget

In January-February of odd-numbered years, the Governor sends a recommended budget for the forthcoming biennium (i.e., next two years) to the General Assembly. From February until June, the General Assembly discusses and revises the proposed budget. In June, the Governor receives the new budget form the General Assembly and either signs it into law or vetoes it. Not that these dates are only approximate, and often the finished budget is submitted to the Governor after June 30th.

In even-numbered years, the North Carolina State Budget Recommended Adjustments is issued, based on changes that need to be made in the second year of the biennium.

Summary of the Budget Process

  • The head of each state agency gives budget recommendations to the Governor.

  • The Governor publishes his/her budget and it goes to the General Assembly.

  • The House makes changes to the Governor's budget and produces its version.

  • The Senate makes changes to the Governor's budget and produces its version.

  • The parts of the House and Senate budgets that differ go to a conference committee to resolve the differences.

  • The General Assembly submits its ratified budget to the Governor.

  • The Governor either signs the budget into law, does nothing and the budget becomes law in 10 days, or vetoes the budget and returns it to the General Assembly.

  • After the budget becomes law, the ratified budget is certified by the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management and issued to each agency as its operating budget for the next year.

Governor's Budget

The Governor's Budget (Odd Years)

The Governor, in conjunction with the Office of State Budget and Management, creates a budget for the upcoming biennium. The Governor's budget provides information on agency goals, missions, and operations and has been published under several different titles. Every couple of years the title is slightly changed.

The Governor's Budget (Even Years)

The North Carolina State Budget Recommended Adjustments is produced by the Office of State Budget and Management. This title is a summary of the Governor's recommended changes to the budget during the second year of the biennium.

General Assembly's Budget

North Carolina State Budget Post-Legislative Budget Summary

Created by the Office of State Budget and Management, this document describes changes made to the Governor's budget by the General Assembly during the legislative session. Foe each item of change described, there is a report of the resulting fiscal change including a change in positions if applicable. The title comes out during each year the General Assembly meets, so it covers both the odd and even years of the budget cycle. An example of the years of coverage is 2007/2009 for the odd year and 2008/2009 for the even year. This is the budget that the Governor signs into law each year.

Useful Links to the General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly website provides a wealth of information and, best of all, it's well-organized and user friendly! For quick searches, there are four options on the upper right: full site search; bill text search; bill number search; and a member information search (drop down menu of legislator's names). In addition, you can easily navigate the site from the home page to:

  • Determine who represents you in the House and the Senate and how to communicate with them

  • Determine who serves on NCGA committees

  • Find a list of legislative assistants (important people to get to know!)

  • Track bills

  • View the Governor's recommended budget

  • Find out when the General Assembly is in session

  • Follow chamber activity, meetings, and issues before the General Assembly

  • View an outline of information accessible on the site by clicking on "About NCGA"

  • Search the North Carolina General Statutes

  • Use the NCGA mobile website

  • Access the Chamber Dashboard - a tool designed to allow you to electronically follow Chamber-related activities by providing a real time representation of what's happening in the House and Senate Chambers when the legislature is in session.

  • Learn how to get around the legislative complex from directions and maps to parking information.